The Tragedy of Sin
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the [a]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 7 -
Freed from the Law
7 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law [a]has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Sin’s Advantage in the Law
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Law Cannot Save from Sin
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:2 - For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Matthew 4:8-10 -
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, [a]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
1 John 1:5-9 -
Fellowship with Him and One Another
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Success in life comes from discovering how to allow failure to function as a learning experience. It is important to accept failure as conditioning to make us strong, and to look at it as part of experiencing life in its fullness.
Central to dealing with failure is naming it and calling it what it is. God uses the term sin to define failure in its most serious form. What name do we give to our failures to overcome evil? Are they just mistakes? Goofs? Or failures? Are we willing to accept the reality of sin?
The first step in finding a solution to any problem is to clearly identify it. God is willing to help those who acknowledge their need of Him. But the self-righteous---those who see error in others, but not in themselves--face Jesus' pointed condemnation. Forgiveness does not come to those determined to save face; it is available to those who confess their sins and acknowledge a need for God's grace.
Just what is sin?
God is holy, pure and perfect; He is without any fault, weakness or error. But man is weak and imperfect, with abundant room for improvement. God is absolute, and free of evil. God's standards and laws are higher than man, in his own ability, can reach. Any effort on our part to compromise God's perfect regulations is wrong. We must call sin sin, and accept the provision God has provided in Christ for forgiveness of sin.
lawlessness is sin
God created the world with the laws required to operate it properly already in place--moral as well as physical laws. When we violate God's laws, the Bible identifies those acts as sins.
Frequently, sin is defined only partially, with emphasis on just part of the problem. Sin is clearly an act; it is something we do that is wrong. But sin is also a force, or power; it can take control of us. The more we repeat an action, the more it becomes a habit, a way of life.
Modern studies recognize sin's power at work in compulsive behavior. When people are just starting to smoke, they can break the habit, but the longer they smoke, the more addictive the pattern becomes. Many who want to stop smoking or drinking find that the habit controls them to such a degree that they are unable to break it.
Paul, describes his own struggles with sin in Romans 7. He confessed he committed acts that he considered wrong. But he also made it clear that when he tried to quit sinning and do good, he faced difficulty. Sin is a power at work in the world. Paul calls it a "body of death" that enslaves us (v. 24).
Jesus came in the "flesh" as a completely human being (8:3), but He was not "controlled by the "sinful nature" (7:5, NIV). It is important to recognize that the flesh is created by God and is not, by nature, evil. But it is a source of desire that serves as a vehicle for doing wrong in the war against the forces of sin, death and evil. Paul calls these forces "the law of sin" (7:25).
Jesus saw forgiveness and deliverance from evil as separate experiences. Forgiveness is a partial solution to the problem, dealing with the symptom but not getting at the root. "Sins" result from the "sin" that dwells within, controlling us in varying degrees and manifesting itself through our actions.
A person sins because he is the servant of sin; sin must be dethroned and replaced by Jesus. A person can desire to escape the penalty of sin--eternal condemnation in hell--and not want to abandon the pleasure found in sin. But God is unwilling to forgive those who have no desire to change their status as slaves of sin, living under the authority of the Evil One. Good and evil do not mix (Romans 6:16).
In the same way, Christians cannot allow sin to remain on the throne of their hears and be assured their faith in God's grace makes them safe from condemnation and judgment of God. God forgives, but He also delivers from evil.
This truth is opposed by those who teach a gospel of grace that does not require repentance as a prerequisite for salvation. They call turning from evil and from other gods "trying to earn your salvation." They say that repentance, conversion and making Jesus Lord conflicts with their understanding of justification by grace alone.
This false kind of evangelism introduces people to Jesus Christ and ignores a personal commitment to Him as Lord and Savior.
The solution to the problem of sin recognizes both the need for forgiveness and the need for deliverance from evil.
idolatry is sin
The most serious sin in Scripture is idolatry. Although the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was disobedience, they did not replace the authority of God with the authority of another. Idolatry does this. The third tempation of Jesus in the wilderness was a request to replace the worship of the Lord God with the worship of Satan (Mattthew 4:8-10). Removing God from His position of supreme authority is far more serious than the sin of eating the fruit of the tree.
In the decision to legalize abortion, mankind took upon itself the authority to decide to take away the lives of those yet unborn. Do we have the right to make these decisions? Or is the sanctity of life and death in the hands of God?
to sum it up
When you have a problem, the best solution is to admit it. Pain provides the body an important warning that something is wrong. To deny pain and say nothing is a mistake; whatever is causing the pain can become serious.
The same is true of sin. To deny we have a problem centered in sin is to engage in the worst kind of self-deception. God has a solution, but it requires us to acknowledge the problem.
Still, just acknowledging it is not enough. God wants to go to the root of the problem and correct the problem in your life. He forgives and delivers us from sin and evil.
Accept the solution He has provided in Jesus.
- Do you know anyone who denies he is a sinner?
2. What reasoning have you heard from those who excuse their failure to live up to the standards set by the Bible?
3. How do most people define sin?
4. It is easier to forgive yourself when you accept forgives from God? Why?
5. Christians talk about not being under the "Law." Does this man they want to live in a world without law and order?
6. Do you understand how habitual or compulsive behavior can be linked to evil power?
7. Explain the "law of sin and death" in Romans 8:2.
8. Do you know someone who needs both forgiveness and deliverance from sin?